Joe Biden’s administration stopped requiring fully vaccinated Americans to cover their nose and mouth inside the U.S. Capitol Complex.
A mask mandate ended in time for the president’s annual message to Congress.
The White House confirmed masks would no longer be required just hours before the 2022 State of the Union address was due to kick off on March 1. Instead, attendees must have a rapid antigen test before entering the chamber.
This strategy mirrors recent advice from Congress’s Office of the Attending Physician for face coverings to be optional in the House of Representatives.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already declared the District of Columbia was a low-risk area for coronavirus (CCP virus). Therefore, the federal agency does not require healthy Americans to wear masks indoors in those regions.
The mandate, which has mostly been in place for the past two years, drew harsh criticism from Republicans who expected no such restriction after being fully immunized.
CDC also recently shifted its metrics away from positive test results in favor of what happens in community hospitals.
“The new system greatly changes the look of the CDC’s risk map and puts more than 70% of the U.S. population in counties where the coronavirus is posing a low or medium threat to hospitals,” the Associated Press reported.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stressed any politician who violates social distancing guidelines will “result in the attendee’s removal,” according to the newswire agency.